‘Tis the season for scammers

Many of us let our guard down during the holiday season. It’s just so cheery and bright and sparkly, that our attention turns elsewhere. Unfortunately, because of the hustle and bustle, we overlook the red flags that are usually so obvious. Here’s a quick round up of 7 top holiday scams: (Swans-a-Swimming not included) 1) Giftcards Nearly every major retailer (even supermarkets) offers gift cards at checkout stands and even on “virtual mall” racks. Most of these cards have scratch off codes to prevent information theft. However, if cards are not protected, those codes can be written down for later Read More…

“But I didn’t order that!” Scam

Dear WAHFAQ, I got this email that I bought these bracelets, and I didn’t! These people are scammers! I don’t know if I should contact them or not. I’m afraid that if I do, it’ll dig me into a deeper hole. What do you think?   I think you are very wise 🙂 Yes, this is a typical “BUT I DIDN’T BUY THAT!” scam. Scammers and spammers will send out tons of emails like these, (moreso during the holidays!) hoping that someone will take the bait. The email is disguised as an invoice or receipt saying that you ordered something Read More…

How to Avoid Charity Scams

Dear WAHFAQ, I am SO SICK of getting calls and solicitations from charities this time of year. And it’s not because I don’t want to donate…I do! It’s just tiring because it’s hard to figure out what is real. I’d prefer to donate to some of the smaller charities that don’t have the budget to advertise. Do you have any suggestions?   Holidays are ripe with scammers trying to tug on our heartstrings. Be very aware of people standing outside of stores, in parking lots, and yes, even at your front door. Wearing costumes, using props, donning fireman or police Read More…

The “Letters from Santa” scam

Dear WAHFAQ, I was talking with some mom friends the other day and they told me about this service that provides letters from Santa for your kids for the holidays. It seems sketchy to me. Have you heard of it? I search the web fairly frequently for any new scams that may be making the rounds. During the holiday season, the “Letters from Santa” scam is prevalent in various lists of seasonal scams. But what is it exactly? There are various companies and individuals who will charge you, (probably around $19.99) to receive your kid’s letter from Santa, and send Read More…

Facebook Data Study Job Ad: Is it real or a scam?

Dear WAHFAQ, I saw this ad, and I know you’ve mentioned focus groups before. Is this a legit job? First of all, I want to make sure that you understand that this isn’t a job. It would be considered a gig. You won’t be hired by Facebook to work continually on this project. It’s a one-off type of thing. Market research companies are continually looking for new participants in a variety of studies. This one just happens to involve Facebook. If a market research company has local field offices — where you actually have to show up at a specific Read More…

Have you Googled yourself lately?

Dear WAHFAQ, How can I make sure that my private info isn’t online? Thanks! You would be amazed at the amount of information that is available online. In just a few simple clicks you can find out so much information about a person including their family, where they live, and even their purchase history on Amazon or eBay. It’s creepy, so I recommend a few steps to make sure your personal information STAYS personal! First and foremost: Check all three major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Not only the main web results, but also look through their image and Read More…

The ridiculous Craigslist furniture scam

Dear WAHFAQ, I’ve been selling items online, and keep getting emails like this one. What is the deal with these people? They can’t actually think that I’m going to fall for this? Hello,   I was just drafting this.Thank you for getting in touch with me,i’m fine with your price as listed and looking to buy your furniture but the only way I can is through a Check which I will mail to you through UPS I am willing to wait for the check to clear before the pickup is done. I will be responsible for the pickup and it Read More…

Is Rexair (Rainbow) a Scam?

Dear WAHFAQ, Someone told me that you used to sell Rainbow Vacuums.  I’ve been thinking about doing it. Is Rexair a scam?  Is it legitimate?  What was your experience?   Yes, it’s true, I used to sell Rainbows.  Well, OK, I sold a Rainbow. And no, they’re not a scam.  Rexair is the company that manufactures the Rainbow vacuum and they’ve been around since the 60’s or so.  They’re a Direct Sales company, which means you’ll be selling the Rainbow directly to customers, not retail outlets. Because of this, Rainbows are hella expensive.  When I was working there, they were about $2000. Read More…

Customer Service Job Ad: Is it real or a scam?

Dear WAHFAQ, I’ve been looking for a customer service job, and I saw this online. It seems a little too good to be true. $18/hr is pretty high in my area. What do you think?   I am willing to bet that this ad is marketing a MLM/Direct Sales opportunity. Let’s explore some of the language in this ad: “The work involves, fun, laid-back presentations with our customers, either face-to-face or done virtually….” This reminds me all too well of my time selling Rainbows. The company would NEVER say that we were doing sales, it was always “presentations” with customers. Read More…

Can I make money assembling products at home?

Dear WAHFAQ, The other day, I was at the doctor’s office and reading one of their magazines, when I saw an ad for assembling products from home. Is this something I could really do? How does that work?   Oh dear. This one is still around, eh? I know you’ve seen the ads. Somewhere in the depths of the “Classified” section, there it is, calling out to you,”Assemble Products at home. No experience necessary. Make $200-$2000 a week! You get giddy. Perhaps you’re a stay at home mom, or maybe you have a disability or something else that prevents you from Read More…

Mall Surveyor Job Ad: Is it real or a scam?

Note: This is an inquiry from 2012 that I thought deserved a reboot since it still applies today! Dear WAHFAQ, Is this a legitimate job post? You mention surveying in your Mystery Shopping book, is that what this is? Mystery Shopping and market research companies conduct spot checks and exit interviews where you’re placed at a particular location and required to count people. You may see these for movie theatres where someone is stationed outside of a particular theatre with a little clicker counting the number of people going to see a particular movie on a particular day. In this Read More…

Is stuffing envelopes a legit way to earn money?

Dear WAHFAQ, I heard that a long time ago, you could make money while stuffing envelopes at home. Does this job still exist? How can I get started?   Wow. This question is a blast from the past! Ok, I’ll admit it. When I was in college, I sent away $19.95 so that I could become a millionaire…stuffing envelopes at home. Surprisingly it didn’t work out the way I thought. (Note the sarcasm.) I did actually receive something for my money: a one page piece of paper that had been xeroxed a million times. It said that all I had to Read More…